Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation — Ephesians 5:4 (Part 2)

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A series of homilies on Ephesians 5 & 6

A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”


I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians 5 & 6 (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.

Ephesians 5:1-4: “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.”

In verses 1 & 2, we saw how we should be imitators of God, and that part of imitating God is loving others in a self-sacrificial way as Jesus Christ loved us. In the 3rd verse, Paul begins to tell us some things that we should not be doing as followers of Christ. Today, we are continuing to look at these things as we focus on verse 4.

Charles Spurgeon said, “I have no faith in that woman who talks of grace and glory abroad, and uses no soap and water at home. Let the buttons be on the shirts, let the children’s socks be mended, let the roast mutton be done to a turn, let the house be as neat as a new pin, and the home be as happy as home can be.”

Yesterday, we talked about filthiness or obscenity and how our words and actions should not reflect these vices. Today, let’s begin by looking at “foolish talking.”

We ought not to engage in “foolish talking” or, as one commentator put it, “the talk of a fool”. This is a person who only speaks about things that have no spiritual value — words that are empty and meaningless, and have no eternal implication. Obviously, as humans on this earth, we must often talk about things that have no eternal value — bills to pay, what needs to be bought at the grocery store, what to wear, who to vote for, etc. But, we must take care that that is not all that we talk about. Most of our words should have some spiritual value — for example, prayer, telling others about Jesus, and speaking to a family member in a way that edifies them, encourages them, rebukes them or admonishes them

Finally, we ought not to be engaged in jesting, or constant joking. To put this in Biblical context the Bible says, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.,” so God knew then and doctors know now that a merry heart does good like a medicine and that laughter from clean sources is good for you spiritually,, mentally, and physically.. Someone said, “A good laugh is the best medicine, whether you are sick or not.” Someone else said, “A man isn’t really poor if he can still laugh.” Someone else said, “Blessed is the man who can laugh at himself, for he will never cease to be amused.” To deny oneself the desire of goodnatured fun and laughter is like denying oneself the desire for a good meal to eat or like desiring sex with the opposite sex. These things are all natural. Most of us would not make it without some laughter in our lives because sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying. Charles Spurgeon was once asked by the elders of his church to tone down his humor from the pulpit. The great English preacher replied, ‘Gentlemen, if you only knew how much I held back!’”

I believe that one of the key points that God wants us to get from this verse and other verses in the Bible is that we are to take God and His work seriously but not ourselves and we have too many preachers and other Christians who take themselves too seriously and cannot laugh at themselves which is tragic.

However, this verse refers to jesting and joking about serious matters, sinful matters, evil matters, jesting and joking that comes from a wicked evil heart that is designed and created to blaspheme God or to take His Name in vain or to commit some ungodly act or to hurt another human being. There is something in psychology called the duping delight grin or the duping delight laugh. The duping delight grin or laugh is about people who have wicked intentions, wicked hearts, and are liars, who when confronted about sin in their life have a physical nervous reaction that ends up in a devilish grin or outright laughter, or making light of a sinful situation because they are guilty. This duping delight grin or laughter or making light of sin comes from a wicked heart, particularly when the person is lying or when they think they are pulling a wool over God’s eyes or over another human being’s eyes. Obviously, we ought to be merry and joyful at all times, but we ought not to be engaged in wicked jesting or joking about ungodly things

Let’s pray.

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